HISTORY OF THE BEGINNING OF SEAFLOAT
INFO FROM SCHOPSING[ at ]cs.com
EMAIL: SCHOPSING[ at ]cs.com
I was an advisor to the vietnamese military in Camau in 1967-68 and
was on the mission to evacuate "Old Nam Can" in Oct. 1967.
A little hamlet to the east, Tan An had become a favorite port
for chinese trawlers running the US naval blockade.
BEFORE SEAFLOAT - SECURING THE AREA
INFO FROM HAROLD BRUCE "MAC" McIVER
EMAIL: HBMc528[ at ]aol.com
I WAS ON T-131-7 (BERNARD THIBADEAUX-BOAT CAPT.)-WE WERE PART OF
A LARGE CONTINGENT THAT LEFT DONG TAM EARLY APRIL 1969.
THE OPERATION WAS CALLED SILVER MACE II-
OUR OBJECTIVE WAS TO RECON THE CA MAU PENINSULA,
WE WORKED WITH VIETNAMESE MARINES, SEARCH AND DESTROY MISSIONS;
FOUND LARGE CACHES OF NVA WEAPONS AND AMMO-
WE WERE TO ROOT OUT AS MUCH OF THE ENEMY AS POSSIBLE
PRIOR TO SEAFLOAT BEING SET UP.
WE HAD MOBILE RIVERINE CRAFT, AT LEAST TWO SEAL DETACHMENTS,
AND WORKED WITH SOME SWIFT BOATS
(FIRST TIME I WORKED ON OPS WITH THE SWIFTS)
ADMIRAL ZUMWALTS SON WAS ABOARD ONE OF THESWIFT'S
AND SUBSEQUENTLY DIED FROM AGENT ORANGE HE CONTRATED
IN THE CA MAU PENINSULAR AREA.
IT WAS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO BATHE IN THE RIVERS AND CANALS,
BECAUSE OF THE SALT WATER. WE HAD SOME KIND OF GRITTY "SOAP"
THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO WORK-IT DIDN'T.
DAILY PATROLS, AND INSERTIONS OF VIETNAMESE MARINES; NIGHTLY
THE NVA FLOATED THOUSANDS OF LITTLE RAFTS DOWN RIVER TO OUR
POSITION, IT HAD A HAND WRITTEN LETTER ON EACH ONE-
(I STILL HAVE ONE WRITTEN BY A NORTH VIETNAMESE)
IT'S WRITTEN IN VIETNAMESE; I HAVE IT INTERPRETED SOMEWHERE-
THE MESSAGE WAS WE WERE GOING TO DIE THERE.
"NAM CAN-EASY TO COME HARD TO LEAVE" AMERICANS WILL DIE,
VIETNAMESE BROTHERS-TURN OVER YOUR WEAPONS AND JOIN US,
IF YOU STAY WITH AMERICANS-YOU WILL DIE TOO"
IT WAS QUITE A SITE THAT MORNING IN APRIL 1969,
TO SEE ALL THOSE LITTLE BOATS OR RAFTS FLOATING TOWARD US-
PREDICTING OUR EMINENT DEATH IN THE CA MAU PENINSULA;
OLD NAM CAN...I HAVE PICTURES OF THE CITY,
WHICH HAD BEEN BLOWN TO HELL-LOTS OF BOOBY TRAPS, PUNGI STICKS, ETC.
AND WITH THE DEFOILIAZATION, IT LOOKED LIKE IT WAS HIT HARD
-B52'S AND DEFOLIANTS...
I WON'T FORGET SILVER MACE II-QUITE AN EXPERIENCE,
WE HAD FIREFIGHTS EVERY NIGHT-
AND THE RVN MARINES HAD QUITE A BIT OF CONTACT DAILY.
HAROLD BRUCE "MAC" McIVER
RIVER ASSAULT SQUADRON 13 - T-131-7
SILVER MACE II ---
MY BEST GUESS IS WE WERE THERE THE FIRST WEEK IN APRIL;
AND DEPARTED FOR GIANT SLINGSHOT LATE APRIL OR EARLY MAY, 1969.
I WAS WOUNDED APRIL 22, 1969 IN A FIREFIGHT THERE.
GOD BLESS .....!!!!
AND GOD BLESS AMERICA...!!!
SEAFLOAT ASSEMBLY AND TRANSPORT
INFO FROM PAUL WALKER
EMAIL: PaulPius[ at ]aol.com">
I was one of the crew that put Sea Float together .
We assembeled the barges at Na Be near Saigon in May or June 1969
and were transported south .
We set the anchors using mike boats and combat salvage boat .
The current run is close to ten knots at full flood which made it difficult.
We never took any hostile fire during the set up or for the next month.
After two week without being blown up ,the Army brass flew in with some mail
SEAFLOAT ASSEMBLY AND TRANSPORT
INFO FROM JOHN SCHLEICHER
EMAIL: jschleicher[ at ]capecod.net
I was the electrician with the first group of volunteers as we trained in Cam Ranh Bay,
fitted seafloat out in Nha Be, and brought it up the river in the early hours of june 25, 1969.
I was on board untill some time in September, when I was transfered back to my original duty station
which was IUWG-1 unit two HECP.
I just got connected to the internet and this is the first site I went to as I am a member of the MRFA.
I was surprised to find this much about seafloat as it never seems to get mentioned.
INFO FROM PAUL CLARK
EMAIL: pclark[ at ]mcn.org
I WAS ON A SEAFLOAT OPERATION 69-70 ASSEMBLED IN SIAGON AREA SHIPPED TO THE RIVER AND INSTALLED.
AFTER A FEW WEEKS TRANSFERED TO QUI HON ALWAYS INVOLVED WITH LANDING CRAFT ETC
WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER THE DAY US LANDED ON MOON.
I WAS ON SEAFLOAT WITH RADIO AND VIETNAMESE LOOKED AT ME LIKE WERE NUTS AT BEST,
BUT OF COURSE WE WERE THERE TOO. ANYWAY THANKS
INFO FROM FRANK DE LA OLIVA QMC (MDV) USN RETIRED (1975)
EMAIL: MASTERDVFRANK[ at ]CS.COM
I WAS THE BOAT CAPTAIN ON THE CSB-3 (COMBAT SALVAGE BOAT) ( LA TORTUGA )
THAT WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN SETTING UP THE AMMIES ANCHORS, TOGETHER WITH THE YTB'S.
I CALLED THE CSB "LA TORTUGA" (THE TURTLE) MAINLY BECAUSE IT ONLY RAN AT ABOUT 4 KNOTS,
(WITH THE CURRENT), I USED TO SAY.
WE ALSO INSTALLED SOME "ANTI-SWIMMERS" NETS. ALTHOUGH ALL THE DIVING
WE DID WAS EXTREMELY HARD DUE TO THE RIVER'S STRONG CURRENT. OF COURSE, WE
HAD TO WAIT UNTIL IT WAS ALMOST SLACKED BEFORE DIVING. IF I REMEMBER
CORRECTLY, THE SLACK CURRENT WAS WHEN IT SLOWED DOWN TO ABOUT A KNOT, IT
NEVER DID SLACK OFF COMPLETELY.
I GUESS IT WAS COINCIDENCE, WHEN WE LEFT THAT LOCATION,
(A YTB HELPED US BY TOWING US TO THE EAST END OF THE RIVER'S ENTRANCE,)
IN ORDER THAT WE COULD RENDEZVOUS WITH THE LSD THAT WAS PICKING US
UP, 13 MILES FROM THE RIVER, WHICH HAPPENED TO BE THE "USS TORTUGA"
(OUR BOAT ALSO BEING NAMED "TORTUGA") THE REASON FOR THE YTB TO HELP US BY TOWING US
WAS THAT THE CURRENT WAS SO STRONG, WE COULD ONLY MAKE ABOUT ONE KNOT GOOD,
WITH THE CSB. (ONLY DID ABOUT 4 KNOTS GOOD.)
(CONVERTED LCM-6 WITH TWO 6-71 "GRAY MARINE" (DETROIT DIESEL) ENGINES.
LCM-6 WAS APPX. 38 TONS. AFTER THE CONVERSION TO "CSB" WITH ALL THE EQUIPMENT,
"BAR ARMOR" COMPRESSORS, "A-FRAME" GENERATORS, 1000 GPM FIRE PUMP, ETC.
IT WAS 104 TONS! WITH THOSE SAME 6-71 ENGINES!
OUR "VOICE CALL" WAS "BABY GIANT 3" THERE WERE ONLY FOUR.
THE "CSB-3" WAS THE LAST ONE TO BE TURNED OVER TO THE VN'S.
CONSEQUENTLY, IT SPENT MORE TIME IN "COUNTRY" THAN THE OTHERS.
THE CSB-3 WAS PART OF "HARBOR CLEARANCE UNIT - 1"
Click here: Harbor Clearance Unit One
I WENT THERE ON A ONE YEAR TOUR, BUT I KEPT ON EXTENDING, STAYING ON THE BOAT.
I WENT THROUGH 3 DIFFERENT CREWS. THEY WERE THERE ON A ONE YEAR "UNACCOMPANIED TOUR
I ENDED UP WITH 30 MONTHS ATTACHED TO THE UNIT, (SUBIC BAY),
AND SPENT 19 MONTHS IN COUNTRY. THE CSB'S WERE SUPPOSED TO
ROTATED EVERY THREE MONTHS, TWO BOATS AT A TIME, HOWEVER, IT DIDN'T ALWAYS
WORK OUT THAT WAY. ONE TIME, WHICH WAS WHEN WE ENDED UP SETTING UP "SEAFLOAT"
WE SPENT 8 MONTHS AWAY FROM SUBIC. (WE ENDED UP WITH THREE WEEKS IN "HONG KONG")
WHEN THE USS TORTUGA PICKED US UP AT "SEAFLOAT" IT WENT TO VUNG TAU TO
PICK UP MORE CRAFTS, THEN WENT TO HONG KONG FOR FIVE DAYS R & R FOR THEIR CREW!
WE ONLY HAD "CAMMIES" AND FATIGUES WITH US, I HAD TO GET AUTHORIZATION
FOR THE CREW TO WEAR CIVILIAN CLOTHES ON THE BEACH, WHICH WAS GRANTED.
(A COUPLE OF US THAT DID HAVE SOME "CIVIES" ON BOARD WENT ASHORE AND BROUGHT
BACK SOME CIVILIAN CLOTHES FOR THE REST OF THE CREW. BY THE TIME WE GOT BACK
TO SUBIC, WE WERE GONE A TOTAL OF EIGHT MONTHS. A FEW OF US HAD OUR FAMILIES
IN SUBIC, INCLUDING MYSELF.